January 22, 2015
A team at the University of California found a way for diabetes patients to monitor their glucose levels using temporary tattoos. They created a “flexible sensor that uses a mild electrical current to measure glucose levels in a person’s body.” No needles required. The new device is painless and costs “just a few cents.”
You may want to sit down for this.
On average, Americans sit for 13 hours each day. The body is not designed to be idle, but many of our jobs require us to sit in front of a computer screen. Long periods of sitting are linked to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Why is sitting so bad? A number of reasons. One is that we burn less calories when we sit. Another is that sitting for a long time leads to metabolic changes in the muscle. Or it may impact the way we respond to insulin.
What can you do? Go for a quick walk at lunch time. Stand up for a few minutes every half hour. Suggest a walking meeting or go to a co-worker’s desk to ask a question you might typically email. They’ll love the interruption, especially if they’re extremely busy.
16 and (not) pregnant.
For five years, America’s teen birth rate has gone down. Between 2007 and 2013, the number of babies born to teens each year fell by 38 percent. This drop occurred along with “steep declines in the abortion rate,” suggesting that the drop isn’t due to more teenagers terminating pregnancies. It’s simply that fewer girls are getting pregnant.
The thing is: No one really knows why.
Many agree it’s a good thing. Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school. Most teen mothers do not receive financial support from their child’s father, and almost half live below the poverty line.
A recent study found that pizza is the second highest calorie source – second only to desserts like cookies and cakes – in the diets of kids aged 2 to 18. Nutritionists encourage parents to cut back as pizza can be high in calories, especially when its heavy on cheese and fatty meats, like pepperoni.
Tray or pie? I grew up in Scranton PA, where we order our pizza by the “tray.” I’m told that in most places, it’s called a pie.
There’s really no evidence that heavy doses of Vitamin C help to fight a cold. A review of nearly 30 studies of people with colds who take the normal daily dose of vitamin C found that it reduced the colds’ length by 8 percent. So if your cold lasts five days, it might be shortened by about 10 hours. For the most part, taking extra Vitamin C doesn’t hurt, but there are some risks associated with mega-doses. Take it easy on the Emergen-C.
Worldwide. As of January 20, the CDC estimates there are 21,724 cases and 8,641 deaths due to Ebola. The number of new cases is declining in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the countries worst affected. Finally.
In Mali. On Monday, Mali was declared “Ebola-free” after 42 days without reporting a new case.
In Guinea. Meanwhile, the government in Guinea set a goal to rid the country of Ebola by mid-March. The number of new Ebola cases has fallen in Guinea, where the outbreak began a little more than a year ago. Schools there reopened Monday.
FYI. A map of Mali and Guinea. I needed a reminder.
Flu activity in the U.S. remains high. A total of 45 kids died from the flu in the 2014-15 season. The CDC estimates that the vaccine reduces the chance of getting the flu by just 23 percent. Not the best year for the vaccine, but still worth getting.
That sounds familiar.
Precision medicine. President Obama promoted it in his State of the Union on Tuesday. What is it? According to the White House blog: “…an emerging approach to promoting health and treating disease that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles, making it possible to design highly effective, targeted treatments for cancer and other diseases.”
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